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Pavillion Questions About Water Contamination to be Answered?

November 8, 2007

Pavillion, WY – Inquiring minds in Pavillion want to know: how many new gas wells are being proposed for the area? And how does the company doing the drilling intend to protect the health and safety of people who live there? The rumor mill in the town has been working overtime, churning out stories about the potential adverse environmental impact of natural gas development on a block of private land. There's also talk of another 500 planned wells.

State officials and representatives from Encana Oil and Gas will be on hand at a public meeting tonight to try to clear up the confusion. Deb Thomas with the Clark Resource Council says past development has caused pollution problems, and residents have a right to know more.

"They really would like to know what the actual proposals are going to be, what the status of the soil and groundwater contamination is at this point, and the status of the cleanup."

Thomas says some sites have already been cleaned up but, with stories about gas drilling being connected to health problems in other parts of the state, people in Pavillion are worried.

"I know there have been several wells impacted. The people who are living there don't seem to have a lot of information about what's going on around them."

She also points out the Pavillion gas project already has hundreds of successfully producing wells, which may be why local residents are questioning the need for hundreds more. The town hall meeting begins at 7:00 PM at the
Pavillion Community Center.

Deborah Smith/John Robinson, Public News Service - WY